Leftovers have been so maligned that the very word is unappetizing.

The problem is that some dishes just don’t lend themselves to a simple re-heating. Case in point is roast chicken. So yummy when it comes hot out of the oven. But try and heat it up and it will dry out and acquire the texture of cotton batting long before it’s hot enough to eat. In these cases, it’s better to consider the leftover as a potential ingredient in a whole new dish.

I made roast chicken (in pieces, but a whole chicken would afford the same opportunity) on Saturday night and then transformed it into Chicken Chili on Sunday night. I made a few modifications to this recipe:

  1. I used pinto instead of kidney beans (Strangely the recipe doesn’t specify the amount of kidney beans. I think anything in the 15 to 19-ounce can range will be fine.)
  2. I didn’t want to open a whole quart of organic chicken broth of 1/2 a cup worth, so I used a 5.5 ounce can of tomato juice.
  3. I let it simmer for 45 minutes. I’m sure it would have been fine after
    a few minutes. Of course I think it will likely taste even better
  4. I didn’t measure the chili powder. I just sprinkled and then tasted. You could easily make this more or less spicy by dialing up or down on the amount of chili powder. If you really don’t like spicy, omit the jalapeno. If you love spicy, consider adding a few extra jalapenos.

It helps that I love chili of all kinds, but this was really, really good. I’m definitely adding it to the regular repertoire.

One thought on “Transformations”

  1. I agree with you about leftovers. I also think they need to go into a “new” dish instead of being served up again “as is”.

    I also saw the zuchinni recipe you posted and cannot wait to try it. I just got some zuchinni from one of my Amish neighbor’s vegetable stands (couldn’t resist…she bargained and said I could have the zuchinni for a quarter each).

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